Community takes over Sheffield pub

The Closed Shop on Commonside will re-open tomorrow
The Closed Shop on Commonside will re-open tomorrow
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The community has stepped in to re-open a Sheffield pub.

A group of investors has raised £10,000 to run the Closed Shop at Crookesmoor under a 'tenancy-at-will' until a long-term agreement can be reached.

The pub will re-open tomorrow.

Closed Shop Community Group Limited was quick to act when the pub on shut its doors.

Parent company Reet Ale Pubs ceased trading, and the pub closed on March 29.

There were two community meetings shortly after in which options for taking the pub on were discussed.

The group's managing director Chris Rodgers outlined the business plan to the community on May 1.

Investors raised the money in just two days.

"It was a massive and quick response, and it was very encouraging," Mr Rodgers said.

The pub will now operate on a week by week basis until landlord Punch Taverns, who owns the building, can negotiate a lease.

"The community is acting as a mediator here," Mr Rodgers said.

"We're keeping the seat warm while the big players get involved with a new lease."

Mr Rodgers is also the manager of the pub on Commonside.

The average invested amount, Mr Rodgers said, was £500.

Some investors chipped in with £1,000, while one gave £2,000.

There are 22 investors, with one coming from as far as Manchester.

Mr Rodgers said should the negotiations for a longer-term lease fail, the group would be interested in taking it on.

But he said he and the group didn't want to jeopardise any potential deals.

"We don't want to alienate anybody," he said.

"But if Punch Taverns was looking for someone to take it over [long-term], we'd take it on."

He said the community wanted to see the pub stay open.

"No-one wants to see it changed into flats or a shop," he said.

Mr Rodgers paid tribute to the pub across the road, Hallamshire House, for its help in the cause.

"They've been very helpful in letting us use the pub for meetings and the like," he said.